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These Gruesome Natural Disasters of 2010 Will Scare You to Death

Natural Disasters of 2010
2010 had some major calamities in store for us. This ScienceStruck article gives you a lowdown on the various natural disasters that struck our home planet in 2010...
Ratnashri Dutta
Natural disasters are something beyond our control, hence, although sometimes we are warned by the scientists, people are caught unawares, and that is why the death toll rises to scary heights. The volcanic eruption in Iceland, the flood in Pakistan, and the Haiti earthquake, were some of the major natural disasters in 2010.

Disasters that Occurred in 2010

Haiti Earthquake
The Haiti earthquake occurred on January 12, 2010. This earthquake had a magnitude of 7.0 Mw, and its epicenter was near the town of Leogane. Within the next 12 days, i.e., till January 24, there were at least 52 aftershocks, each shock measuring around 4.5 or above on the Richter scale. Roughly 3 million people were affected; 230,000 people lost their lives, about 1,000,000 people became homeless, and the loss to property was immense. All sorts of communication was hampered.

Pakistan Floods
Another major disaster was the flood in Pakistan. In July 2010, due to heavy monsoon rain in the area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Sindh, and Punjab, nearly one fifth of the total land area of Pakistan became submerged. Around 2000 people lost their lives in the flood, the country's economy was affected, and infrastructure and property were destroyed.

Northern Hemisphere Summer Heat Wave
The summer months of May, June, July, and August saw a massive rise in temperature in the areas of USA, Mongolia, Taiwan, China, North Africa, the whole of Europe, and some parts of Canada, Russia, Indochina, Japan, and South Korea, due to the Northern Hemisphere Summer Heat Wave. The rise in temperature caused a series of forest fires in China, and killed a number of people. Some areas also reported drought-like situations, further increasing the death toll.

Iceland Volcanic Eruptions
On March 20 and April 14, 2010, Mount Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland erupted, disrupting air traffic across the whole of Northern Europe, thus stranding many passengers and causing aviation losses amounting to millions of dollars due to the cancellation of the flights. Weirdly, the disruption due to the eruption is considered to have played a considerable part on the matches in the European club football championship, the UEFA Champions League.

Mount Merapi Volcano Eruption, Indonesia
On October 25, 2010, Mt. Merapi erupted, killing around 386 people. The hot ashes and the gas clouds formed due to this eruption caused respiratory problems in many people.

Here's a list of some other disasters that 2010 had in store.
  • Salang avalanches, North of Kabul (Afghanistan) on February 8 and 9.
  • Kohistan avalanches, NWFP (Pakistan), on February 17, killing around 100 people.
  • Earthquake in Chile on February 27, killing around 521 people. Richter scale shows 8.8 (higher than Haiti, but death toll was lower than in Haiti).
  • Tropical storm Hubert hit Madagascar on March 12, killing 36 people and leaving many injured.
  • Papua earthquake in June 2010, killing 17 people.
  • The North American Blizzard, which claimed the lives of 40 people.
  • Tropical storm Hermine, in September in Guatemala, killing around 100 people.
  • Tibet earthquake, killing more than 2000 people.
  • Tropical cyclone Ului, in Australia from March 9 to 24.
Many people lost their lives, many people became homeless, the affected countries suffered a lot economically, but one good thing happened out of these disasters, all countries, irrespective of the relation that they shared, stepped forward to help each other at the time of need.